The Walking Dead, Season 3, Episode 13. Arrow on the Doorpost

The Walking Dead, Season 3, Episode 13. Arrow on the Doorpost

photo AMC

Tonight on The Walking Dead, Season 3, episode 12, “Arrow on the Doorpost,” Rick and the Governor negotiate. Andrea has brokered a sit-down. Martinez and Milton stand watch for Woodbury. Daryl and Hershel are on guard for Rick. They trade barbs. Daryl calls Milton the butler; Milton says he doesn’t have to explain himself to the henchman. Hershel backs down all the testosterone. Andrea darts around their feet inside like a squirrel.

photo AMC

It’s a Very Special Princess Bride episode.

Back at the Prison, Merle wants to ride to the rescue. Glenn and Michonne worry about crossfire.

Rick’s proposal: the Prison will take East of the River; Woodbury can have the West. “Absolutely not,” the Governor laughs. He wants surrender. The only thing they can agree on is to boot Andrea out of the meeting.

They debate semantics: is he the Governor? is Rick a cop or a lawyer? Rick taunts him, “You’re the town drunk who knocked over my fence and ripped up my yard. Nothing more.”

(Andrew Lincoln said he listened to the Black Keys to psych himself up for this scene. He should’ve maybe listened to them faster, because this entire episode drags, though clearly it is intended to be rife with tension. Rife!)

“Andrea told me about your baby; that it might be your partner’s?” the Governor pokes him. (Andrea! What?! How is THAT appropriate pillow talk?!)

Next tactic: “I brought whiskey,” the Governor announces.  Don’t drink it Rick! It’s inevitably laced with iocane powder!

The troops outside are beset by walkers and Daryl and Martinez have a little testosterone-off, nearly followed by a post-coital bonding smoke (it might be the end of the world, but Martinez is holding out for menthol). Those two know this is just “a little dance,” that it won’t change the outcome. Nearby, Milton quizzes Hershel about his amputation. “May I see it? Your stump…” Hershel says, “I just met you; at least buy me a drink first.” And it’s the first time he laughs in the history of the series. It might be the first time any character has laughed in Season 3.

The Governor tells Rick he can’t just let their invasion slide. He’d look weak. He extends the sociopath’s attempt to bond, telling him how his wife died in an accident, one day while he was so busy “taking shit” at work from a younger, inferior boss (the guy has authority issues) that he didn’t even get a chance to return her voicemail that day. It’s clear from the look on Rick’s face, he’s thinking, “Yeah, yeah. Whatever. Call a wahhh-mbu-lance. My wife died giving birth to a baby that might be my best friend’s, and then my son had to put a bullet through her re-animating zombie brain. Top that, Guv-na.” Rick wins the Dead Wife-off sweepstakes.

Back at the prison, more scuffling. Merle still wants to go. He and Glenn tussle. Beth fires a gun into the air. Way to go  Beth. How is she even still alive? It’s Season Three. (Gunshots just draw more walkers and rile up the ones already there.)  Over at the silo, Andrea and Hershel discuss where her home is now.

And now the Governor tells Rick what it would take for him to play ball. They don’t have to give up the prison. He doesn’t want it anyway. They don’t have to leave. “Best to stay where I can keep my one good eye on you.” He dramatically removes his eye patch to show off gooey-eye.  “I want Michonne.”

Cut to Michonne and Merle. He thinks she makes a logical ally. No dice. Glenn has watch. Maggie cuddles up. He was wrong. No she was wrong. It’s the zombie apocalypse, people. What’s the shelf-life of her pout? What are their other options? Zombie e-harmony? Graphic make-up sex ensues. (Did they learn nothing from Lori about unprotected apocalyptic sex.)

Rick and crew return to the Prison. He tells them to prepare for War. The Governor returns to Woodbury. He tells them to prepare for an execution. Kill all comers, but hold Michonne (presumably, he wants to torture her). With any luck they can get Merle, Glenn, Merle’s brother. All of em. Milton asks naively, “what about the deal?” “Best way to avoid a slaughter,” the Governor says. “I don’t think that means what you think it means,” Milton says. (He doesn’t. What he actually says is, “that is a slaughter.”)

At prison, Rick confides in Hershel. He knows even if he gave up Michonne, the Governor would kill them all anyway. Plus, Hershel mentions, she’s earned her spot. Still, Rick equivocates, what if it’s the only way? What if it is a way out?

Seriously?! Is this the part where he rips off the Mission Impossible mask and reveals Andrea underneath? Because what else would explain even considering giving up Michonne, a lethal warrior. His team may be better trained, but they are wildly outgunned and outmanned by Woodbury’s Army. Sure, it might be populated by asthmatics and arthritics like poor young Noah and poor old Mrs. McCloud, but Rick doesn’t know that, and still, there’s 26 of them (or so). Make ’em take Beth.  She can sit around the Woodbury camp fires and sing Tom Waits tunes til they bleed from the ears, and then fire a few guns into the air so that the walkers show up and eat them all.

How You Can Attend the Walking Dead Season 4 Premiere

Walking Dead creator Robert Kirkman will be judging the Walking Dead Fan Contest.“Fans make videos trying to prove that they are the ultimate Walking Dead fan. And then I’m going to be judging those things.” The winner gets to attend the Season 4 premiere party. Winner will be announced after the March 31 Season 3 finale.

Also, AMC now offers a Dead Yourself app.

Walking Dead Season 3 Episode Recaps

Season 3, Episode 12 Clear

Season 3, Episode 11 I Ain’t a Judas

Season 3, Episode 10 Home

The Ace Interview with Walking Dead creator Robert Kirkman